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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Bovine immunodeficiency-like virus encodes factors which trans activate the long terminal repeat.

Lentiviruses are known to encode factors which trans activate expression from the viral long terminal repeat (LTR); the primary trans activator is the tat gene product. One of the putative accessory genes (tat) of the bovine immunodeficiency-like virus (BIV) bears sequence similarity to other lentivirus tat genes. This finding suggests that BIV may encode a trans-activating protein capable of stimulating LTR-directed gene expression. To test this hypothesis in vitro, BIV LTR-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene plasmids were constructed and transfected into three cell lines established from canine, bovine, or lapine tissues that are susceptible to BIV infection. The level of BIV LTR-directed CAT gene expression was significantly elevated in BIV-infected cells compared with uninfected cells. The relatively high basal-level expression of BIV LTR-CAT in uninfected canine and bovine cell lines suggests that cellular factors play a role in regulating BIV LTR-directed gene expression. Additionally, by using a clonal canine cell line in which the BIV LTR-CAT plasmid is stably expressed, BIV LTR-directed CAT expression is elevated 15- to 80-fold by cocultivation with BIV-infected cells, supporting the notion that BIV encodes a trans activator. The relative specificity of this viral activation was assessed by coculturing the clonal BIV LTR-CAT cell line with bovine leukemia virus- or bovine syncytial virus-infected cells; these bovine retroviruses increased expression from the BIV LTR only two- to threefold. Thus, BIV LTR regulatory elements in infected cells, like those of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and other lentiviruses, are trans activated, presumably through the action of a Tat-like protein and cellular factors.[1]


  1. Bovine immunodeficiency-like virus encodes factors which trans activate the long terminal repeat. Pallansch, L.A., Lackman-Smith, C.S., Gonda, M.A. J. Virol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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